Pirelli tyre tester Jaime Alguersuari vented his frustration at failing to secure a Formula One race seat on Saturday by saying the sport had become an auction favouring money over talent.
The 22-year-old Spaniard has been trying to find a way back onto the starting grid since he and Swiss team mate Sebastien Buemi were dropped by Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso at the end of the 2011 season.
He had sounded confident about his chances but those hopes have been dashed with lower-ranking teams favouring drivers who can bring sponsorship with them to help shore up strained budgets.
The only remaining vacancy is at Force India, with whom Alguersuari had been linked, whose decision now looks like a choice between their former driver Adrian Sutil and young Frenchman Jules Bianchi.
“FI HAS BECOME AN AUCTION”
“I never imagined that after Red Bull's incomprehensible decision not to count on me in 2012, I would have to fight so much outside the track,” Alguersuari said.
“I was convinced throughout most of the 2012 season that my seat was secure in a team that usually scores,” he added. “That’s what they told me and I believed it.”
Alguersuari said he had hoped that “the value of my sporting career, and the verbal commitments received, would materialise with my return to F1 in 2013. This has not happened.
“Those who committed themselves with me have given me reasons that I must accept but that I do not share.”
He said he would continue working with Pirelli and had not given up hope of returning to Grand Prix racing despite the difficulty of securing backing in debt-stricken Spain.
“Although Spain's economy is in the worst shape in our modern history, and except for Banco Santander no other company considers Formula One as a profitable and sustainable business, I know how old I am, I know my track record and I'm convinced that I deserve a winning car in F1,” he said.
Double World champion Fernando Alonso will be the sole Spaniard on the starting grid this season at Santander-backed Ferrari. The country's only F1 team, Hispania, folded at the end of last season. - Reuters